Serono : Lacking management co-ordination
Failure to integrate the company’s own support site into online information suggests a chronic case of ‘silo’ management.
Switzerland-based Serono is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies and its home page highlights the four ‘therapeutic areas’ in which it specialises. Each is linked to its own sub-section of Our Products.
In the case of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the sub-section features links both to Serono’s trademark treatments, ReBif and Rebiject II, and four external Resources & Support sites, among them MS-Network and European MS Platform.
Serono also has its own MS support site, (www.rebif.net), which was launched yesterday (22 June) and carries information for doctors and nurses as well as sufferers. It is not, however, referenced anywhere on the main company site, including the scrolling news on the home page, the Multiple Sclerosis sub-section and the Rebif information pages.
Background information on treatments and diseases is a fairly standard part of pharmaceutical and biotechnology company sites, and one the web is ideally suited to provide. Serono’s provision of links to external support sites for MS sufferers and specialists is a valuable and refreshing addition to the mix as well as a good piece of ‘soft’ relationship building. However, its failure to integrate its own support site into the online information – or even to mention its launch – is not so much soft as silly.
Having invested in developing the rebif.net site it makes no sense to publicise its launch in press releases to journalists while leaving visitors to the Serono website completely in the dark. The only plausible explanation is a chronic case of ‘silo’ management within Serono, manifesting itself in a complete breakdown of co-ordination and integration across functions and channels. As such it is a prime example of how website effectiveness is inextricable from organisational effectiveness.http://www.serono.com
First published on 23 June, 2005